Rehabilitating Children of ISIS: Extracting Recommendations from the Education-Related ISIS Files

In the scope of the “ISIS Files” project and in partnership with Hedayah, EICTP has supported and contributed to research on education-related ISIS-documents. In addition to a more comprehensive research report, recommendations were issued to provide concrete and concise input for policymakers and practitioners working on rehabilitation and reintegration of ISIS-affiliated children, as well as those working on P/CVE (preventing and countering violent extremism) more broadly: “Rehabilitating Children of ISIS: Extracting Recommendations from the Education-Related ISIS Files”.

Hedayah and the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism have undertaken a research partnership to evaluate documents of the terrorist group ISIS, as collected in a group of primary source documents called the “ISIS Files”, to which the recommendations project belongs. The research has systematically analyzed a dataset of education-related “ISIS Files” documents using critical discourse analysis to identify common narratives, values, and themes, particularly those aimed at indoctrinating children. This primary research was based on exclusive access to the ISIS Files, provided by the Program on Extremism to Hedayah.

As part of this project, Hedayah transcribed, translated, and analyzed the files related to education. The dataset analyzed in this report includes 29 textbooks (16 from primary grades, 10 from secondary grades, and 3 from unknown grades; 27 in Arabic, 2 in English) and 40 additional files. The additional files are background documents, which include homework assignments and notes from coursework, handouts, letters and decrees from the Ministry of Education of ISIS, exam rules, and test scores.